X Beyond O : Calligraphy – Sign – Space

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School days

In contrast to last weekend, which was an alcohol-fueled romp through Taipei’s early mornings, I decided this weekend to be a little more civilised, and thus lined up a morning of Mountain Biking (sweaty), followed by a rather more cultured stroll around the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei.

I turned up to quite a large exhibit of modern interpretations of Chinese calligraphy, called X Beyond O: Calligraphy – Sign – Space. I have seen my fair share of ‘modern China’ style exhibitions on this type of subject, but they wowed with some really very memorable pieces, including projection of characters onto graffiti’d-up school desks, piles of paper with laser-cut symbols running through and fun and games with the increasingly ubiquitous multi-touch displays.

I am still somewhat blown away by the main space, however. A huge ink pad – and I mean huge; about the size of a tennis court – flanked by a scroll and brushes on one side. Dimly lit and perfectly reflective, it really was rather a special space.

I can’t pretend to be able to penetrate these deeper aspects of the culture – especially written culture – but I do think I can appreciate it none-the-less, and certainly enjoy it. I say that, as the Chinese I have been learning over the last few years is bring ground to dust, replaced by the mental effort required to survive at Dell!

Hidden images, projected into a brightly-lit room

… which entailed running around the room attempting to capture and focus the characters on Chinese fans … one reference too far?

The main exhibition space. None more black.


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